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EcoMotors Chief Don Runkle: “Electric Vehicles Are Not Zero Emissions”

Posted by Michael Jackson on Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:10pm

EcoMotors Chief Don Runkle: “Electric Vehicles Are Not Zero Emissions”The chief executive officers of two very different clean tech startups, Brammo and EcoMotors, disstubborn the relative merits and limitations of clean vehicle technology today, at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York on Wednesday. Oregon-based Brammo designals and manufactures all-electric motorcycles and the battery technology and software that powers them, while Michigan-based EcoMotors designals and makes more efficient combustion engines.

EcoMotors' CEO Don Runkle roundly criticized clean tech advocates who say all-electric vehicles (EVs) are "zero emissions." Causing a bit of a stir in the convention hall, Runkle, the former VP of engineering at GM, went on to claim that EcoMotors' engine technology enables car companies to produce diesel-powered vehicles that have a lower, overall carbon footprint than any electric automobile available today.

Given that electric vehicles don't produce diesel exhaust, and don't use fossil fuels, how can this be…?

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House GOP Staffers Floated Using Taxpayer Money To Promote Paul Ryan's Budget

Posted by Wacug Zepijaje on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:36pm

House GOP Staffers Floated Using Taxpayer Money To Promote Paul Ryan's BudgetRepublicans are regrouping after the Senate, on a bipartisan basis, rejected the regressive budget crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). The budget, which cuts taxes on corporations and privatizes Medicare, was a focal point during recent special election in New York, where Democrat Kathy Hochul won a surprising upset victory. A source on Capitol Hill sent TPM reporter Brian Beutler a recently circulated e-mail from House Republican staffers hoping to salvage public opinion over the budget. Catherine Mortensen, a press person for Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), solicited ideas for using franking privileges (ie, taxpayer-funded mass mailings commissioned by members of Congress) to defend the Ryan plan. The e-mail from Mortensen is below (emphasis added):

Hello Respected Hill Communicator!

i'm going to talk to my boss about a franked mail sneak peek that will hit people is mailboxes in our district in late July -

i'm thinking of focusing on one of two issues:

1 - need to reform Medicare ( a defense of the Ryan plan )

2 - debt ceiling - why we have to make structural changes to spending before we agree to pass a debt ceiling limit increase.

Do you've any thoughts on which one of these messages is better?


House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has called for investigations into the use of taxpayer money to promote political goals. Will he look into this obvious effort to use public funds to promote the Republican budget?

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Gmail's 'People Widget' Takes On Rapportive, No foreheadser Plugin Required

Posted by Joseph Wright on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:26pm

Gmail's 'People Widget' Takes On Rapportive, No Browser Plugin Requiredit is probably not a good signal that i am this excited about an email widget, but there you go.

Google has just announced that it is rolling out a new feature over the next week called the People Widget - a small sidebar to the correct of email messages that features contextual information about the people you are interacting with in Gmail. I don't have the feature active yet so i am going by the screenshots provided, but it looks like the widget includes each person's job title, recent email exchanges you have had with them, photo, calendar availability, and shared Google Docs. It also includes Buzz updates (hopefully Twitter integration is coming as well).

If you only exchange a handful of messages a day then this probably is not a game changer for you, but if you are fixedly having to deal with a flurry of projects and hundreds of contacts, then it could be a godsend. Of course, Google actually is not the first company to offer contextually applicable information within Gmail (unusual as that may sound). Startups like Rapportive and Xobni have made foreheadser widgets that offer similar functionality.

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House Gives President almost Endless Power To Wage War, But Also Only nakedly Votes Down Withduncookedal

Posted by Betty Hall on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:20pm

House Gives President Nearly Endless Power To Wage War, But Also Only Barely Votes Down WithdrawalThis aftermidday, the House of Representatives has been debating - and voting on - a set of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA). One especially crucial bipartisan amendment offered by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) would have struck Section 1034 from the language of the invoice.

What is Section 1034? it is a section that was inserted by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and others that would update the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was passed after the 9/11 attacks. It would hugely expand the power of the President to engage in war. As the ACLU explains, the provision would go much further than the AUMF, "allowing war wherever there are terrorism suspects in any country around the world without an expiration date, geographical boundaries or connection to the 9/11 attacks or any other specific harm or threat to the United States. There have been no hearings on the provision, nor has its necessity been explained by Rep. McKeon or anyone else in Congress." The section also strikes a blow against civil liberties by expanding detainment powers.

This provision is so expansive that even the Obama administration - the very executive department whose power would be fantasticly enhanced - has issued a veto threat should it survive Congress. This aftermidday, the Lee-Amash amendment was defeated. As The Nation's George Zornick paper money, the amendment was defeated along a 234-187 vote, with 20 Democrats voting against and 21 Republicans voting for it:

On a near-party line vote of 234-187, the House has voted down an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would have stripped the so-called "endless war" provision from the defense authorization invoice. [...] Twenty-one Republicans broke with tinheritor party to support the Amash-Lee amendment; unluckyly, (...)

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Carla Bruni Showing a Baby Bump? (Photos)

Posted by Barbara Williams on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:15pm

Carla Bruni Showing a Baby Bump? (Photos)The First Lady of France stepped out in an adorable white babydoll style dress earlier today and we can not help but see signals of a growing baby bump. Has Carla Bruni created the switch to maternity clothes?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife have yet to confirm that they're expecting, but Sarkozy's father, Pal, let the cat out of the bag for the couple.

He was quoted in the German newspaper Bild, saying, "The two do not want to know the gender in advance, but i am certain it will be a girl and as beautiful as Carla." There has been hypothesis of a possible baby for some time now, but it looks like Bruni is running out of time to keep mum about being a mom again.

This potential baby will be the first for the couple, but the fifth child for the twosome. Bruni has a son from a former relationship and Sarkozy has three sons from preceding marriages.

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'The Oprah Winfrey Show' laste Takes Ratings Back to the Golden Age

Posted by David Rodriguez on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:07pm

'The Oprah Winfrey Show' Finale Takes Ratings Back to the Golden AgeIt seems Oprah Winfrey's message of love and self-acceptance during the ultimate episode of her talk show was enough to boost yesterday's goodbye to the top of the ratings.

Despite the fact that none of the multitude of celebrities present at the taping in Chicago's United centre actually appeared during the episode, during which Winfrey looked back on her 25 years on television, the ultimate installment of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' scored a major 13.3 household rating.

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Spidey Is unmarried: Andrew Garfield Splits From Shannon Woodward

Posted by Zixonif Libuyi on Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:07pm

Spidey Is Single: Andrew Garfield Splits From Shannon WoodwardIt looks like Andrew Garfield's Spidey sense's kicking in -- the often lovesick superhero will now be played by similarly unmarried, Garfield. The British actor, 27, recently called it quits with 'Raising Hope' actress, Shannon Woodward, according to Us Weekly.

The twosome have been an item since 2008, long before Garfield's main man 'Social Network' days, but it's reported that his Hollywood newcomer status is precisely what did the couple in.

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Now You Can See Twitter The Way I See Twitter

Posted by Edward Smith on Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:37pm

Now You Can See Twitter The Way I See TwitterTwitter has just rolled out a nifty little feature. Now on anyone is prodossier, when click on the "Following" link, you'll be able to see precisely how they see Twitter. In other words, you can see the same timeline of tweets that they see when they are looking at tinheritor leading feed.

it is a cool feature that makes sense from a discovery stand point. If you know i am a power Twitter user that probably follows a bunch of good people, you can now quickly scan the tweets those people send out and see which ones you want to follow. it is sort of like what is doing for news stories shared via Twitter links.

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After Promising To End Earmarks, Tea Party Freshmen Hog Defense Pork

Posted by Werutuvidib on Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:30pm

After Promising To End Earmarks, Tea Party Freshmen Hog Defense PorkTea Party freshmen who were swept into office largely based on tinheritor pledge to end congressional pork are obviously hogging the trough. Capitol Hill Blue reports that members of the Tea Party Caucus filled the latest defense appropriations invoice with millions of dollars of earmarks for projects in tinheritor domestic districts:

While talking the big plan to be fiscally responsible the Republican freshmen have packed a enormous $553 invoiceion spending invoice with millions of pet defense projects for tinheritor domestic districts.[...]

For example, freshman GOP Rep. Bobby Shilling put in $2.5 million for weapons and munitions advanced technology for the Quad City Manufacturing Lab at Rock Island Arsenal, which just happens to be in his district. During his crusade against Democrat Phil Hare final year, Schilling criticized Hare for adding money to defense budgets for the same facility.

GOP frosh Vicky Hartzler of Missouri packed the invoice with $20 million for "mixed conferenceal load capability for Air Force bombers," for Whiteman Air Force Base in her district. Hartlzler backed the GOP moratorium on earmarks during her crusade. Now she says she didn't think the moratorium applied to defense spending.

The list goes on. In Mississippi, Steven Palazzo (R) used anti-pork rhetoric to defeat out longtime Democrat Gene Taylor. Palazzo added almost $30 million to the defense invoice for projects in his district. Disdain for "pork barrel spending" was, of course, a central feature of all of these representatives' crusades.

This betrayal of Tea Party precepts is not new for the freshmen members, who seemed to have discovered the benefits of cozying up to foyerists the moment they set foot in Washington. According to The Washington Post, GOP freshman Kristi Noem (SD) is just one of at least 13 new Republican lawmakers who hired foyerists(...)

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Report: Jeff Conaway to Be Taken Off Life Support

Posted by Jajaya Desulo on Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:19pm

Report: Jeff Conaway to Be Taken Off Life SupportJeff Conaway will be taken off life support machines after doctors told the 'Grease' actor's family that he has had no brain activity since being admitted to a hospital May 11. "The feeding tube has already been removed. The ventilator which is breathing for Jeff, will be removed sometime this aftermidday," a source close to the situation told

The source said no degrees will be created to revive the actor, saying, "Jeff is in no pain whatsoever."

It was originally reported that the 60-year-old Conaway was hospitalized in Los Angeles because of prescription drug overdose, but celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky later said the former 'Taxi' star was suffering from pneumonia and sepsis, a dangerous blood infection.

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